When it comes to beauty, Hollywood can be a depressing place to find your reference. Attempts to stay young through bad plastic surgery transform beautiful faces into odd masks of their former selves -- Meg Ryan, Priscilla Presley, and Daryl Hannah come to mind as examples of beautiful women who tweaked themselves into uncomfortable-looking new faces. Men aren't exempt from the pressure to remain young -- just ask Bruce Jenner, Kenny Rogers, or Mickey Rourke.
So when we ran across this CNN article spotlighting an older generation of beauty bloggers who are focused on aging gracefully -- and in style -- we were pretty inspired. One of the best things about any beauty blog is the reality of it; the women testing makeup and skincare products, or shopping for great fashion finds aren't supermodels or the usual suspects of heavily-styled heavy-hitters from the red carpet. Beauty and fashion bloggers are women (and, occasionally, men) who simply love fashion and use it to express something about themselves to the world.
One thing we do take exception to from the article is the idea that there aren't any Hollywood actresses who are true, relatable beauties. That's just not true, and we have compiled a list of beautiful Hollywood actresses -- no one under 50-years-old allowed --who inspire us, as much with their timeless beauty as with their dedication to maintaining a moveable forehead.
Everyone is going to say Michelle Pfeiffer (54) -- and with good reason, she's gorgeous -- but how about some props for a less traditional beauty? We're not the only ones who are obsessed with Tilda Swinton (51), whose androgynous good looks don't just belie her age, but sometimes her very gender. The ladies over at Go Fug Yourself have turned the word "Swinton" into a verb, adverb, and adjective and they only refer to her as SWINTON, in all-caps. Tilda Swinton's atypical good looks, distinctive style, and general badassery (she lives with her boyfriend AND the father of her children) make her a stylish icon on many levels.
Diane Keaton (66) isn't just an over-sixty actress who looks incredible, she's also an outspoken opponent of plastic surgery. Keaton has long been admired for her original, quirky style sensibility. And then there was her decision to finally do a nude scene -- at the age of 57. She's gorgeous, brilliant, witty, self-aware, and original.
If you aren't in love with Helen Mirren (66) there is probably something wrong with you. Not only is she a beautiful, versatile actress (who else can play Queens Elizabeth I and II, a hard-nosed detective in Prime Suspect, and guest-star on Fraiser?) she looks and acts her age, but somehow remains ageless. She also has an edge, and loves to call people out on their bullshit. More Dame Helen Mirren, please.
The best part about compiling this list was the overwhelming number of choices in the over-70 group. There are so many working actresses in their 70s, and it's gratifying to see that women who work in such an age-biased industry are successful. It's nice to know that women can have careers stretching out over many decades without stretching their faces into oblivion. That's not to say we're against a little nip or tuck -- who knows who may have had a little filler or a tiny yank? -- but we admire these actresses for their focus on crafting their work, rather than their bone structure.
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Dame Judi Dench (77) has received six Oscar nominations, and every single one was after she turned 60 years old. Have you ever seen Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown? She's spectacular. A quick scroll through her IMDB filmography reveals a steady stream of work from the late 1950s on British television, onward.
When you are double-Oscar winner Dame Maggie Smith (78) and you have been in everything from Harry Potter to Downton Abbey to Shakespeare at the Old Vic -- and you count Dame Judi Dench among your besties -- you don't have to convince anyone you're talented. The 78-year-old actress is lovely, with a wry wit that is as attractive as her beautiful face and her ability to charm on-screen (even when her character isn't that charming).
Most recognizable in America (at least to young whippersnappers) for Murder, She Wrote Angela Landsbury (87) was a total dish in her youth. She's famous for "playing older," starting in her 30s; she was 36 when she played Eleanor Shaw Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate, and was only three years older than Laurence Harvey, the actor who played her son. Check out her first film, Gaslight (with Ingreid Bergman, 1944) to see where it all began.
Last but certainly not least, we salute the incomparable Betty White, who at 90-years-old has not only enjoyed a lengthy and celebrated career, but has actually seen a resurgence in popularity among people of all ages over the last several years. She has a sitcom, a hidden-camera reality show, and she is guest-starring on every hot show on television. She's got a dirty sense of humor and a beautiful smile, and we love her for being as hot today -- in Cleveland, no less -- as she was 60 years ago.